Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has slammed those criticizing the All Progressive Congress (APC) over the Osun election, describing them as having ‘short memory’.
He also debunked allegations that the APC-led Federal Government influenced the Independent National Electoral Commission’s decision to declare the election in Osun State inconclusive.
Mohammed stated this on Monday during an interview with journalists at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
“You see people have very short memory. I must tell you they exhibit a lot of ignorance. How many people remember today that in 2015, the governorship election in Kogi State was suspended even when the APC was leading with over 90,000 votes?
“And there were reruns ordered in about 90 polling units or so. So what happened in Osun has nothing to do with whether APC was winning or not winning or it is in government. It is the prerogative of the Independent National Electoral Commission to decide whether an election is concluded or not.”
He maintained that if the same scene had played out about four years ago, the government of the day then would have declared victory for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stressing that the present administration believed in rule of law and fair play.
“And that is why we submitted to the decisions of INEC; not that we didn’t have things to contest. We have a lot of things to contest also, but we submitted to the decision of INEC because we believe in the rule of law.
“At times, we are a bit shallow in our assessment. If there is an election and APC has just a margin of 353 votes and you said APC had lost heavily, you should learn to look at context. Two, this is an election that was very peaceful, highly competed for, even though the APC had control of all the state institutions, we refused to abuse them.”
Rather than castigation, he said the Federal Government should be congratulated and commended for being very impartial in the conduct of the election.